Education Maintenance Allowance

Education Maintenance Allowance is a weekly payment of £30 to help support a student in education beyond the school leaving age of 16.

How much is EMA?

£30 a week.

Do you qualify for EMA?

  • You qualify for an EMA for the 2024/25 school year if:
  • your birthday is between 1 March 2005 and 28 February 2009
  • you go to an East Renfrewshire school
  • your study involves at least 21 hours of guided learning a week
  • you sign a learning agreement with your school
  • your household income is within the agreed government levels

Household income levels

IncomeDependent childrenEMA amount per child
0 - £24,4211£30
0 - £26,8842+£30


How to apply

Download an EMA application form (PDF) [151KB] (opens new window) . Paper applications are available from school offices.

Completed applications can be posted to the Barrhead Main Street office or can be submitted with pictures of all relevant documents to the EMA team.

If you're 16 up to 30 September

If you apply before 30 September 2024, we'll backdate EMA to the start of the school year.

If you apply after the 30 September 2024, your EMA will be paid from the date your application was received.

If you're 16 after 1 October

If you apply before 28 February 2025, we'll backdate EMA to the start of that term.

If you apply after the 28 February 2025, your EMA will be paid from the date your application was received.

After you apply

We'll text you to you to confirm receipt of your application.

This text will tell you how long we'll take to deal with your application. We may also ask for additional information via email.

How we pay you EMA

We pay EMA every 2 weeks. This is usually on a Friday.

We pay it into your bank account. We can't pay in into anyone else's bank account.

We don't pay EMA during these school holidays:

  • Christmas
  • Spring term
  • October Week

We may stop EMA payments if:

  • your attendance falls below 100% in any one week
  • you're late
  • you don't meet conditions of the learning agreement

Closing date for all EMA application forms for 24/25 school year is 31 March 2025

Last modified on 7 June 2024